British firm to restart production at Zambia nickel mine in 2019

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Consolidated Nickel Mines (CNM), a British firm, plans to relaunch its operations at Zambia’s Munali mine, which is located 75km south of Zambian capital Lusaka,  in the first quarter of 2019.

The decision to restart production was made by the firm in spite of plans by the Zambian government to increase mining taxes in order to reduce public debt. The tax increase was criticised by mining firms, who note that the decision will have a negative impact on the economic growth of the country.

The mine was placed on care and maintenance in 2011, as a result of low nickel performance and poor operational prices. Mabiza Resources Limited, CNM’s local subsidiary, revealed that it had developed a new geological model and mining method that will enable it to extract nickel from the ore body at Mulani more efficiently.

Mabiza Resources, which noted that about $40 million has been earmarked to restart the mine, said in a statement that “these changes have the potential to reduce operating costs to make the mine economical at low nickel prices”.

Before operations ceased, the Mulani mine was expected to produce around 56,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate in 2011.

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